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Distinctive Voices in Literature

            Our "voices" are comprised of what we say and how we say it. Each of us has our own unique voice, which reflects our personality and our context. In "The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender,"" a hard-boiled detective novel by Marele Day, and "The Hunger Games,"" a young-adult novel by Suzanne Collins, the distinctive voices of the characters gives us a better understanding of their personalities, their past, and the worlds in which they live.
             The voices of the characters are created through the language that they use, both verbally and nonverbally, and the framework of narration style and genre within which it is used. The voices of the authors are also present in these novels. Although more subtle than the voices of the characters, it can be detected in the descriptive language and symbolism, as well as in the overall message of the novel. Day and Collins use a variety of non-verbal and verbal language throughout out their novels. These language techniques create the characters personality, ideas opinions and views of their society, which add to their distinctive voice. First person is important throughout the novels as it creates the distinctive voices of the protagonist and to a lesser degree the antagonist. .
             Both novels are narrated in the first-person by the protagonist. This is a critical tool in shaping the unique voices of the protagonist as we are allowed to see their world from their point of view, and are privy to the motives behind their words and actions. The language characters use are distinctive indicators of their views and attitudes. Claudia and Katniss are honorable and brave females dealing with corruption and violence in their society. Claudia observes her surroundings as "So pretty and so innocent, the facade of lights covered a multitude of sins and one of those sins was murder". The juxtaposition of innocents and sin in this description of the setting, a corrupt 1980's Sydney, shows Claudia's cynicism and wariness.

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